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Lema was a "blue plan" front-company of the Civil Cooperation Bureau established in Johannesburg with offices in Parktown by ex-policeman Leon André Maree. The company's name was derived from the first two letters of its founder's name and surname. It exported electronic appliances, computers, pocket calculators, and watches from South Africa to other African countries.
Lema was funded with at least R40 000 by the South African Defence Force.